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A Taste of Austin: Discover the City’s Best Barbecue

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A Taste of Austin: Discover the City’s Best Barbecue

Khani Zulu | MCNE, CLHMS

LICENSE NUMBER #668914 Khani Zulu’s passion for real estate is as unique as her approach, offering clients a curated experience fueled by integrity,...

LICENSE NUMBER #668914 Khani Zulu’s passion for real estate is as unique as her approach, offering clients a curated experience fueled by integrity,...

Jun 25 6 minutes read

When it comes to barbecue, Austin, Texas, is a haven for smoked meat enthusiasts and foodies alike. The city boasts a rich culinary tradition that melds time-honored techniques with innovative flavors, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking the best in BBQ. From the legendary brisket at Franklin Barbecue to the unique Middle Eastern influences at KG BBQ, Austin’s BBQ scene offers a diverse array of mouthwatering options that cater to every palate. Join us as we take you on a flavorful journey through the top nine BBQ spots in Austin, where each bite promises a smoky, savory, and unforgettable experience. 

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is nothing short of an Austin legend. Owned by Aaron Franklin, this iconic eatery has BBQ fans worldwide flocking to its doors. The hype is real – the brisket here is a tender, flavorful masterpiece with a savory beefiness that’s hard to match. The smoked turkey, subtly kissed by post oak, remains perfectly juicy, making it a must-order. Patrons often start tailgating in the parking lot well before the 11am opening, eager to savor the renowned BBQ that has put Franklin on the culinary map.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

Just a few blocks from Franklin, Micklethwait Craft Meats holds its own with an impressive array of smoked meats and beloved side dishes. Their brisket is a cult favorite among locals, and the housemade sausages burst with vibrant, perfectly-seasoned flavors. The vinegary potato salad is a standout, cutting through the richness of the meats. This spot also features Saddle Up, a charming “ice house” offering local beers, natural wines, and delightful baked goods, making it a full culinary experience.

Interstellar Barbecue

For North Austinites craving creative BBQ, Interstellar Barbecue is the go-to spot. Chef John Bates brings innovation to the table with menu items like smoked pork belly glazed with peach tea, combining luxurious textures and balanced flavors. The sides here are just as whimsical and delicious, with the scalloped potatoes – cheesy, silky, and garlic-scented – being a particular favorite. Interstellar’s unique twists on BBQ classics set it apart in the competitive Austin BBQ scene.

LeRoy & Lewis

LeRoy & Lewis have carved a niche in Austin’s BBQ landscape by embracing “new school barbecue.” This means respecting traditional techniques while experimenting with unconventional ingredients and global influences. After years as a food truck, they’ve opened a spacious brick-and-mortar location in South Austin. Here, diners can enjoy air-conditioned comfort while indulging in delights like their famous smoked burger, fully-loaded Frito pie, and melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks.

KG BBQ

In a city steeped in BBQ tradition, KG BBQ stands out by introducing Middle Eastern flavors to the mix. Chef Kareem El-Ghayesh’s confidence shines through in every bite, from the lamb meatballs and lamb bacon ribs to the smoked lamb chops. These dishes pair perfectly with bright, flavorful sides like tomato-and-cucumber salad and Mediterranean rice with pomegranate seeds, creating a BBQ experience that’s both unique and delicious.

Distant Relatives

Distant Relatives redefines Austin BBQ by weaving in the rich culinary traditions of the African diaspora. Located at Meanwhile Brewing, Chef Damien Brockway and his team offer dishes that reflect their heritage and personal experiences. The brisket sandwich with fried green tomatoes is a flavor symphony, while the black-eyed peas with burnt ends provide a soulful, satisfying side. This truck’s innovative approach to BBQ makes it a standout destination.

Terry Black’s

A mainstay in Austin, Terry Black’s has become nearly synonymous with local BBQ. Open for a decade, it continues to draw crowds with its consistently excellent brisket and an impressive beef rib that justifies its renowned status. Unlike many BBQ joints, Terry Black’s serves into the evening, making it a convenient option for BBQ enthusiasts who can’t make it during typical daytime hours.

B. Cooper Barbecue

B. Cooper Barbecue is a hidden gem in the bustling Austin BBQ scene. Despite its low profile, this spot on Manor Road serves exceptional smoked meats. The brisket is tender and moist, enhanced by the housemade pickles that add a zingy contrast to the deeply savory flavors. For those in the know, B. Cooper is a treasure worth seeking out.

la Barbecue

Founded by the late LeAnn Mueller, la Barbecue upholds a family legacy of BBQ excellence. Known for top-notch versions of all the classics – brisket, ribs, turkey, and pulled pork – la Barbecue also excels in creative sides like mac & cheese with mini shells that cradle the creamy sauce. Their jaw-dropping sandwiches, such as the Frito Loco with pulled pork, chopped brisket, and chipotle slaw, make it a must-visit for any BBQ lover.

Austin's barbecue scene is a testament to the city's vibrant culinary culture, blending traditional techniques with innovative twists to create a truly unique dining experience. Whether you're a local or a visitor, these nine BBQ spots offer something for every meat lover, from melt-in-your-mouth brisket to inventive sides and sandwiches that tantalize the taste buds. So, next time you're in the mood for a smoky, savory feast, make sure to visit these standout BBQ joints and savor the rich flavors that make Austin a true barbecue paradise. Happy eating!


With Love from Austin,

Khani Zulu Group

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